Laminate Flooring

When they first encounter it laminate flooring is quite puzzling to some homeowners. Some laminate flooring looks just like hardwood flooring but it is not while other laminate flooring looks like stone but again, it’s not. So what exactly is laminate flooring anyway?

Laminate flooring has a surface layer of two thin sheets of paper impregnated with melamine. On this paper is printed a perfect digital photograph of the flooring that is designed to mimic, whether that is hardwood, stone or even marble. Under the photograph is about a half-inch of wood-chip composite and as a whole laminate flooring is extremely durable, easy to clean and care for and an affordable way to get the flooring look you really want for your home.

Another advantage of laminate flooring is that it can withstand moister conditions than most solid or engineered hardwood floors can. Solid hardwood floors in bathroom might sound like a very nice idea from an aesthetic point of view but all that damp air can damage it irreparably.

Laminate flooring is much more at home in damper places. Not only does that make it a great choice for the bathroom but for the basement as well. The average basement is naturally a little more humid that the above grade rooms in a home however well ventilated it is, so laminate flooring is a popular choice amongst homeowners undertaking a basement remodeling or renovation project.

Laminate Flooring Installation
Another reason that laminate flooring is so popular is that it is relatively easy to install, cutting down on the amount of time your home has to become a construction site of sorts, filled with installers and workmen. Laminate is considered to be a floating floor, which means it can be installed over a poor subfloor if necessary and does not have to be nailed down like most hardwood flooring does.

The History of Laminate Flooring
Although the history of laminate flooring is relatively short in North America, Europeans have been enjoying it for several decades now . Laminate flooring actually grew out of the laminate countertop business. It was once was a secondary production line to help increase plant production rates and use up left over countertop materials but now, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar worldwide business.

Often you will hear people refer to laminate flooring as Pergo flooring. That is because Pergo is one of the largest manufacturers of laminate flooring in the world, and they were also the company to really make laminate popular in the US as a flooring option. They are far from the only laminate flooring manufacturer though.

Caring for Laminate Floors
Once they have them installed some people tend to become a little confused about exactly how to care for their laminate flooring the right way. Doing so is not hard however as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. Here is the right way to care for your new laminate floor:

• Never use a wet mop on your laminate floor. A damp mop is fine but excessive amounts of water and certain detergent floor cleaning products can warping, swelling and delamination that could void your manufacturer’s warranty as well as ruin the way your beautiful laminate flooring looks

• Deal with liquid spills as soon after they happen as possible (actually this is good advice for any flooring option.) For tougher stains like oil or paint a little dab of carefully applied nail polish remover can work wonders. Put a few drops on a clean white rag, gently rub the stain away and then go back over the area with another slightly damp cloth after the stain has disappeared.

• In addition to giving your laminate floors a regular once over with a good broom or dry mop the occasional use of a specialist laminate floor cleaner – which is usually readily available at your local home store – can help keep your laminate flooring looking its very best.

• Using floor mats at the entrances to a room with laminate flooring can prevent accidental scratching caused by gravel and other debris tracked in on the soles of everybody’s shoes. Doing so will also save you quite a bit of cleaning time.

• Consider adding small adhesive foam pads to the feet of any furniture that is in contact with your laminate floors. This will prevent any accidental scratching if said furniture is accidentally (or intentionally) moved around.

Parquet Laminate Flooring

Unique flooring designs can be created using parquet laminate flooring. These are available in more elaborate designs and in smaller sizes to imitate the look of wood parquet. Though installation is not as simple as wood laminate flooring, the slight complication is well worth the resulting floor design

Stone/Ceramic Styles

Stone and ceramic flooring can also be imitated by laminate flooring. Unlike real stone and ceramic floors, laminate flooring in these designs are less prone to chipping and cracks. Laminate flooring made to look like natural stones or ceramics will have stronger resistance to wear and tear than the real thing

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is not actually real flooring but looks like it, with the appearance being provided by a photographic image of wood. This is placed on top of a core board made of compressed fibres and the material is covered in a melamine wear layer, which is what gives laminate flooring its famed toughness. It is less likely to scratch than wood and easy to clean, making it ideal for a crowded and busy house.